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Happy At Work?

#1 User is offline   Pinkie Icon

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 03:55 PM

I wonder how you all feel about this. I share because I'm curious.

I am sitting here contemplating what I'm doing. Literally- what I'm doing. Typing and stapling and phone calls - is this really what it's all about? I'd like to think that the answer is absolutely not. It's not what you do that makes you who you are; it's how you live your life, right? This is what I do for most of my days, hours on end - sitting at a desk chair and wash, rinse, repeat.

I'm about to leave this world of office life and begin a new, artistic career adventure. As I type this I find myself absolutely terrified by the idea of leaving what is so familiar to so many of us. When I share my news I get weird looks and raised eyebrows. I'm often greeted by an unconvincing, "wow, that's great.....?" I'm not ashamed of my decision but I find that this regular reaction leaves me questioning whether it was the right choice.

In America we don't do extended holidays or embrace the idea of travel. Especially in NYC. You're valued by how much bacon you bring home even if you don't get to enjoy it. The material things are what seem to matter to everyone. For me, I could really care less about living in a giant house or wearing designer coats. I'd like to think I don't have a need for all of this "stuff." But now this idea of making less money and doing something emotionally enriching seems almost ridiculous and immature. Why am I feeling so guilty about the prospect of being happy at work?

I pose the question to all of you because I know I'll get interesting answers. How do you all see this fitting into your lives? Has this happened to any of you?
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#2 User is offline   Alexander Icon

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 09:36 PM

Firstly - yay! Pinkie!

Secondly - I've worked my fair share of shitty jobs. Call centres, admin, barwork (although at least the barwork was good fun at times) and what I learned was that life is too short to be miserable, and as you will always spend whatever you earn, it's more important to be happy than anything else.

I'm fortunate now in that I have a job I really enjoy, and I get paid a decent wage, but I don't feel guilty about this because I basically got the job by teaching myself a skill from scratch (web development) then getting on my bike and finding a position in a small company that's now quite large, and now I'm a studio manager rather than a webdev, which shows progression and I'm happy with that.

I bet those raised-eyebrow people will be the first to say "We knew you could do it" when you make a success of your new venture, so y'know - fuck em.

Banal though it sounds, you get one shot at life so you might as well live it the way you want. Even if your artistic career doesn't pan out how you want, there's never going to be a shortage of admin jobs, so it's not like you'll starve to death.

Go for it, I say. Life's supposed to be a bit scary.
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#3 User is offline   pH5.5 Icon

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 05:54 PM

maybe everyone's reaction is such a way because of the difficulties there are in making a living from the arts. go back through centuries and you'll find most of those we regard as greats have had wealthy financiers allowing them to have enough to live on whilst creating their works. it's actually the way i'd like to see music going, as i'm growing to be against the idea of having to pay for recorded music (though not live performance). but you haven't indicated what your artform is to be, so i can't really say anything further on that.

all in all though good luck to you and i hope you have success!
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#4 User is offline   Pinkie Icon

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 04:54 PM

View PostpH5.5, on 07 September 2009 - 07:40 PM, said:

maybe everyone's reaction is such a way because of the difficulties there are in making a living from the arts. go back through centuries and you'll find most of those we regard as greats have had wealthy financiers allowing them to have enough to live on whilst creating their works. it's actually the way i'd like to see music going, as i'm growing to be against the idea of having to pay for recorded music (though not live performance). but you haven't indicated what your artform is to be, so i can't really say anything further on that.

all in all though good luck to you and i hope you have success!


I'm going full time to work at a florist. :) I'll be working on weddings and things like that - not just a tiny little shop that does vase arrangements. I think it's going to be blast to be out of the office, I can't wait!
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#5 User is offline   pH5.5 Icon

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Posted 09 September 2009 - 06:28 PM

cool! a friend of mine gave up being a lawyer to go re-train to become a florist. the only question any of us had was how she would fund life etc whilst re-training, but then she got herself a wealthy boyfriend and that took care of that aspect! good luck to you though - should be a fulfilling career (unless you suffer from hayfever!)
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